Though it’s common to feel stressed after a long day of work (or even from simply thinking about work), it’s an unhealthy way to live our day to day lives.
Recent studies from the American Psychological Association have emphasized the negative effects of stress on everyday health. Research has found that even short-lived and minor stress can cause serious health complications such as heart attacks, arrhythmias and even sudden death.
It’s not a cheery thought, but workplace stress takes an emotional and physical toll on everyone. And while it may not be possible to have a completely stress-free work environment, there are simple ways to reduce it within the office.
1. Decorate Your Office Space
It’s safe to say we spend more time at work than anyplace else, so it’s important to make it feel like a home away from home. By adding personal touches such as pictures or decorations, the space will instantly become more comfortable. We all love to express who we are as individuals, and infusing our workspace with personality will make getting through the day’s tasks infinitely more enjoyable.
2. Purchase Plants for Your Office
Plants aren’t just fun to look at and keep alive, they have some therapeutic benefits as well. In fact, when the University of Technology Sydney studied plant life in the workplace, they found that having office plants can significantly reduce tension, anxiety, confusion, depression, dejection, anger, hostility, and fatigue. Don’t have a green thumb? That’s okay! Simply fill up your office space with low maintenance plants like a snake plant or succulents.
3. Plan Ahead for Interruptions
Every day brings new distractions into the workplace, which can be a major source of stress, especially when deadlines are approaching. It’s important to prepare for interruptions in order to manage them effectively. This means prepping your workspace so you’ll be prepared for any distractions that might come your way. Start with some noise cancelling headphones or a “do not disturb” sign. If you’re facing dire circumstances and tight deadlines, look to incorporate additional physical barriers as a way to control your space and senses, such as a desk screen. Or, if all else fails, go find a quiet place in the office like an empty conference room where you won’t be disturbed.
4. Exercise When You Can
When heavily invested in our work, it can be easy to forget how important exercise is for alleviating stress. Whether it’s a quick walk around the floor, marching in place, or sitting on a medicine ball instead of a standard chair, there are simple ways to get exercise while you work. Or, if your workplace provides a workout space, take a quick mental and physical break and go utilize your office gym.
5. Fix Your Seated Posture
Instead of slouching around, sit upright with your feet flat on the ground. It may seem a little silly at first, but researchers at The University of Auckland found that changing your posture can affect your stress and mood. Participants of the study found that adopting an upright position when faced with a stressful task helps maintain self-esteem, reduce negative moods and increase positive outlook.
Stress is an inevitable part of all of our lives, but it doesn’t have to negatively impact our work. These steps are small, but taking the time to implement them will help you reduce your stress on the road to your ONE Thing. What stress relieving activities do you like to use at work? Leave a comment on our Facebook page to let us know!